ABIT KV8-MAX3

Review

posted 2/17/2004 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
This is the first board that I’ve used recently that had the two power plugs placed right next to each other. It really does make sense and helps reduce stringing power cables to different areas. Since they are right next to each other, you can tie the two power plugs and have them go to the same place

There isn’t much room around the CPU socket with the northbridge cooler and a bank of capacitors nearby. The plastic OTES cooling casing also takes up some room and there’s a cutout near the side of the CPU socket to help facilitate some room to put in a heatsink. I’ve read of a few sites that were complaining about a lack of heat sink bracket and back plate. I can’t here as my setup sent by ABIT included the parts necessary to attach the stock heatsink.



Five PCI slots and one AGP slot gives the KV8-MAX3 a lot of room for expansion. If you have a two slot cooling solution on your card like an OTES card or one of the newer NVIDIA cards, ABIT has put enough space between the first PCI slot and the AGP port so that none of your PCI slots will be compromised. Now, one side of the clips on the memory slots do align with the AGP port and the space between the first DIMM latch and the AGP lock are pretty close. Not much space is between and there can be a tight fit in there. You probably won’t be changing memory that much but it will probably get in the way if you do.

For storage connections, the KV8-MAX3 is loaded with Serial ATA ports. How many you ask? How about six ports for you and the board still holds two IDE connectors and a floppy connector. This board is ready to go full Serial ATA storage devices with plenty of ports to add them. The board also has a built in RAID controller so RAIDing Serial ATA hard drives will be no problem. ABIT has also included their SecureIDE bundle if you want to encrypt the data on your hard drive. It uses a 40-bit DES encryption and the encryption is done on through the X-Wall chip. If you want to decrypt the data, a key must be inserted into the included bracket. If your hard drive is ever stolen, you can be sure that unless the perpetrator spends a great deal of time trying to break the encryption, any sensitive data will be safe. SecureIDE is completely invisible to the operating system and your computer will not even know its being used.

A big selling point for the motherboard is the uGuru feature. uGuru is a hardware solution for monitoring your system and system tweaking. If you rather overclock without going through the BIOS, you can use the uGuru software to tweak your system from the CPU speed to voltages and everything in between. Monitoring various system features is a breeze with the software and the software is updated by ABIT. If you have problems, there’s a “Black Box” feature where you send information to ABIT with a click of a few buttons. Because the uGuru system is hardware based, it takes very minimal if any computer resources when running. The software does take up a small footprint but not that much.
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